Page 47 - Enjoy the South 2017
P. 47

Ken Hom OBE is one of the most inspiring, compassionate and humble men Enjoy has ever had the utter privilege of meeting!
Enjoy spoke to Ken on his second visit to Poole, within as many months, at Ocean Palace’s ‘Evening with...’, where he introduced a dedicated menu that he had curated for the Chinese restaurant – here he explains the background to the menu and talks of his travels.
“For Ocean Palace I wanted to think outside the box and not present a standard Chinese menu. I wanted it to be
a reflection of my style and also experiences that I have had on my travels, those that have inspired my books and to present dishes that will make people go ‘wow’ what’s that new flavour? And I wanted to get the chefs excited to be cooking the dishes...
“A few dishes that I thought would suit here – the most popular dish in my restaurant Mee in Rio is the shrimp paste and chicken and I’ve never brought that dish into the UK before and as it is a best seller in Rio – I thought it would be a good time to introduce it...
“I have been working with restaurants and hotels for over 40-years – many people see me working on television
– but I have worked with airlines, on ships and with restaurants in many different countries – and this is what I try to do when I put a menu together – I try to assess each environment, here we are close to the sea – so I mix the seafood and with more rustic dishes like the oxtail – this will work in the winter – and things with shrimp paste are an inspiration from Hong Kong – all these trends I try to pull together – it’s exciting for me as I learn a lot as well as I travel.
“Ocean Palace is in fact closer to the beach than my restaurant in Rio! It would be quite cool if Mee was on a beach like this in such an unrivalled setting.
“Working with different chefs in different kitchens has
been a training ground for me. I learn little tricks and techniques – I can play in their restaurants and kitchens – experiences are amazing – I curated the menu for Cathay Pacific for three years – flying to all cities and making food taste good at 35,000 ft – and then cooking on the QE2 where the kitchen was moving – not sliding but a funny sensation – I really learned a lot.
“I really love cooking in great 5-star hotels too in London, Mauritius, Sydney, Adelaide, Auckland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Jakarta and in Japan – these all brought interesting ideas – and us chefs, we influence each
other – it’s about exchange, that’s the lovely thing about cooking.
“I also like to go into each city and see how people live, that gives me an idea about how they eat – when I was in Sydney – I was going around eating – I could see that the Australians love all sorts of seafood – it was a great pleasure for me to not only cook for them also but learn from them.”
Asked about the evening itself at Ocean Palace he said: “I love meeting the people that I’ve grown up with over 40-years – we share things together – and for them to come to Ocean Palace to meet me over a menu that I’ve designed – I’m really touched by that – it’s my way of sharing – and of course it will be lubricated by good wine – we will have a great time.
“I’ve loved seeing three of FJB’s hotels – to have lunch at the Harbour Heights and to stay at the Haven Hotel and have dinner in the Sandbanks... it’s a real privilege.”
Ken Hom is an ambassador for Action against Hunger (see opposite) and his passion for the humanitarian charity is humbling. He insists that we must all give back we reap so much during our lives that we must reinvest in the long term, how inspiring...
Thank you Ken please come back soon – you have a very special place in the heart of Dorset.

   45   46   47   48   49